Fashion's latest buzzword 'Barbiecore' is everywhere right now, but if the term has left you perplexed, and wondering what is Barbiecore? We’ve got all the answers you need and some inspiration on how you can incorporate the style into your own wardrobe in a sophisticated and grown-up way.
Barbiecore is derived from the world-famous doll, Barbie and her fantastically pink aesthetic. Iconic since its launch in the 1950s, the resurgence in the obsession with the doll and the emergence of the Barbiecore trend is thanks to some pivotal fashion and cultural moments. It started with Valentino's Pink PP Collection set on a hotter-than-hot pink runway at Fashion Week earlier this year. More recently, however, pictures emerged of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling filming Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated live-action Barbie film (due to be released in 2023). This, alongside the rise in dopamine dressing, has led celebrities and designers to gravitate towards embracing this fun-loving, hot pink shade, creating the Barbiecore trend in its wake. Such is the look's popularity, that #Barbiecore has reached over 7.9 million views on TikTok.
"Maximalist trends have been fashionistas’ first port of call ever since we packed our loungewear away, and whether it be floor length gowns, exaggerated flares or metallic crop tops - this summer is all about hot pink," says Emily Stott, Stylist Ambassador at Stitch Fix UK (opens in new tab)
"At Stitch Fix we’ve seen a 297% increase in womenswear requests for ‘hot pink’ from July 1 to July 15, so it looks like the trend is more than a fleeting craze."
What is Barbiecore?
The Barbiecore aesthetic is bright, bold and uber pink. One of the hottest fashion color trends 2022, the vibrant shade is a serious mood-booster which is certainly what all of us have been craving post-pandemic.
"The style is all about looking pretty in pink. We’re seeing lots of matching pink sets, monochromatic looks and feminine silhouettes. Brands like Maison Valentino and Miu Miu have also started to incorporate the signature core trend into their fashion lines, embracing colorful prints and textures that incorporate the modern characteristics of Barbiecore,” explains Nick Drewe, Trend Expert at WeThrift (opens in new tab).
Whether you want to go full-on plastic fantastic in head-to-toe pink and rock the best pink dresses or you want to do a subtle nod to the trend with a cute pink accessory, discovering what is Barbie and tapping into Barbie’s world is the perfect summer endorphin boost.
From Surfer Barbie to Holiday Barbie, there really is a Barbiecore look for every occasion making it super easy to work this trend into your wardrobe. There are no rules when it comes to the trend, so consider 'what color suits me', as you'll want to find the right shade for you. However if you really want to hit the mark, look to bolder tones such as hot pink, fuchsia and bubblegum.
"The main consideration when embracing any new trend is to make sure it works for you and your style, so you can feel your most confident. Whether it be a head-to-toe, hot pink ensemble, or something as simple as a flash of hot pink nail varnish, take on the trend in a way that feels personal to you and you’ll undoubtedly feel amazing!" says Emily.
Neon accents and a nod to '90s and '00s nostalgia are also part of the Barbiecore aesthetic so try pairing with lime green or faded, light wash denim and add splashes of statement prints.
"Name a more iconic duo than pink and green. These two beauties sit opposite each other in the color spectrum, so work well in partnership. Experiment with different ways to mix and match these colors, whether it be a green dress and pink shoes, or a pink top and green bottoms," adds Emily.
What is Barbicore: How to style the trend in a chic and grown-up way
While this trend might, at first glance feel a bit 'young', the truth is, it's largely about championing the Barbie color palette, meaning you can choose pieces and silhouettes that work for your body type and taste. Seeping into every part of the fashion landscape, working out what is Barbiecore and how to wear it is a cinch with our fashion team's top style picks.
1. Best dresses for Barbiecore
Barbie was often considered to have the ‘dream’ life - she had the dream house, the dream boyfriend in Ken and of course the dream wardrobe and one thing she was never short of was stylish dresses. So if you want to fully embrace the Barbiecore trend, a pink dress is a good place to start. From the best midi dresses to the best summer dresses, there are a plethora of styles out there for every style and budget. Stick to a fun aesthetic, that's core to the trend and look for playful details such as frothy tulle, flirty frills, and ladylike silhouettes.
RRP: £49 (International shipping available) | Barbie is unapologetically glamorous and this silky slip dress nails that vibe. With a subtle stripe detail and decorative buttons down the front. Working out how to style a slip dress will really open up your wardrobe. Keep the look relaxed by layering it over a t-shirt and pairing it with a pair of your best white trainers.
RRP: $589 / £440 | A front-runner for holiday outfit ideas (hello Malibu Barbie!) this neon pink delight is one of the best dresses to ensure your vacation is packed with style. Cut-out detailing was one of the biggest fashion trends 2022 and this feminine dress features a cut-out bodice and pleated skirt for a floaty bohemian finish. Up the ante with neon accessories.
RRP: $345 / £195 | This is a great day-to-night dress with smart elements, such as practical pockets and pretty puffed sleeves. The zip neckline adds a sports-luxe spin, whilst allowing you to adjust the depth of the neckline to suit your style. Flattering and feminine, the nipped-in waist will help to create an hourglass silhouette. The contrast white stitching adds a refreshing finish.
2. Best tops for Barbiecore
If the stereotyped, girlie vibe of full-on pink is not to your taste, that doesn't mean you have to ignore the Barbiecore trend altogether. Part of the journey of discovering what is Barbiecore is about looking at ways to incorporate elements into your look in a sophisticated way.
If you want a more modern take, look for tailored separates such as the best blazers and cotton shirts all in that signature pink color palette. Wear with coordinating trousers for an eye-catching Barbie-inspired look, or keep it subtle and layer a pink blazer over your best jeans for a pop of color that has just as much impact and is just as trend-worthy.
RRP: $24.99 / £17.99 | H&M is the place to head if you’re looking for budget-friendly basics that pack a punch in the style department, and this shirt is no exception. With an oversized fit, it's perfect for layering over tees, the best swimsuits, or simply wear it on its own and half tuck the front for added structure.
RRP: $99.99 / £49.99 | A style staple, when it comes to how to style a blazer, this pink iteration has that girly Barbie edge - thanks to the subtle polka dot detail, longline silhouette, and luxe-looking gold buttons. Wear with the matching trousers for a head-turning look or layer over your LBD for date night.
RRP: $395 / £295 | One of the best sweaters to inject this trend into your closet, it’s all the details that make this cardi worthy of some attention. From the balloon sleeves to the metal embellished buttons, it’s wearable Barbiecore at its finest. Layer over your favorite floral dress or keep it lowkey with denim.
3. Best bottoms for Barbiecore
Barbiecore isn't just reserved for the weekends though, embrace pink in the week and make this trend work for the office too. Look for tailored trousers and smart skirts in this season's favorite hue to up-style the everyday.
Balance out the loud shade and wear with neutral tops such as a white blouse or cream jacket for the 9-5, before swapping for a bolder hue or coordinating blazer and silky cami when cocktail hour hits.
"Try wearing different tones of pink together for a sophisticated take on the trend. In the summer months, style a pastel pink tee with a hot pink midi skirt from the likes of Boden, Hush, or Thought - all brands we stock at Stitch Fix. As the weather cools, opt for a hot pink blazer, layered over a white tee and pale pink trousers - I think Elle Woods would approve of this one!" says Emily.
RRP: $45.90 / £29.99 | Trust Zara to deliver on the fundamentals of this trend. These cigarette pants give a nod to Barbie’s 1950s heritage - looking very much like a style the doll would have actually worn. Super flattering, they will sit high on the waist and taper at the leg, a great shape for apple and hourglass body shapes. Wear with a tucked-in blouse for maximum style points.
RRP: $120 / £85 | Tiered skirts and dresses have remained at the height of style this season and who doesn’t love to waft around in a swishy skirt in the summer. This tiered belted-midi is crafted from a lightweight cotton blend so will keep you cool and stylish during a heatwave. Team with a light pink vest for a softer take on the head-to-toe pink look and finish with gold accessories and sandals.
RRP: $485 / £450 | Even Barbie’s loungewear is glamorous so take a note from the all-American style icon and snap up some designer joggers from British clothing brand Alexander McQueen. In the color of the moment, these pink relaxed joggers feature a graffiti logo on the back pocket but can be easily smartened up with your best designer heels and a white blouse for added polish.
4. Best bags for Barbiecore
The easiest way to introduce a new color into your look is through an accessory, so if you want to ease yourself into this vibrant trend, start with a pink bag. Whether that’s one of the best crossbody bags for everyday or a retro '90s shoulder silhouette, a pink piece of arm candy will lift your look in an instant.
Look out for stud detailing and chain straps to give the look a tougher edge and quilted detailing for added texture and interest.
RRP: $269 / £135 | One of the hottest handbag trends 2022, chain detailing will give your bag an upgrade. We love the suede finish on this beauty for a high-end finish and the zip fastening will ensure your belongings stay safe. Big enough for all the essentials, don't bother saving this one just for best.
RRP: $2,690 / £1,790 | The perfect day-to-night bag, this shoulder design oozes '90s nostalgia. It has a cool curved shape, polished gold hardware and studded embellishments for a rock ’n’ roll aesthetic. One of the best designer handbags, it’s surprisingly roomy and will luxe up any look for work or play.
RRP: $2,035 / £1,475 | Nail two trends in one with this pillowy soft bag. It has a crossbody design making it practical for every day, whilst the pink hue adds a playful touch that’ll transform your summer occasion looks. For added detail, it features the iconic YSL monogram plaque and the brand's signature chevron quilting.
5. Best shoes for Barbiecore
Just like a pink bag, a bold shoe will help elevate the simplest of looks. Tap into that retro Barbie aesthetic and opt for '90s platform sandals and fun slip-on mules - perfect for upping the ante on simple jeans and t-shirt combos.
For more casual days, give your sporty sandals or sneakers the pink treatment - Barbie was the queen of athletic gear after all.
While pink shoes very much channel the Barbiecore look, a bright and bold pair of shoes, whether they're heels or comfortable flats will always add zing to your look, making this a style that won't date.
RRP: $66 / £69 | For maximum comfort and impact, these sporty sandals are a game-changer. In an attention-grabbing shade, they have a padded footbed and sturdy flatform soles. Offset the sporty design and wear with tailored separates.
Charlie is the Deputy Fashion Editor at Future plc across multiple women’s magazines including Woman & Home, Woman and Woman's Own.
She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Stylist, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys.
With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys.
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